Illustration: Penelope Dullughan

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17. Podcasts
If you've never downloaded a podcast, you're missing out on a whole vast audio universe. Though podcasts got their start as glorified talk shows, the offerings have expanded far beyond two dudes jawing in a garage. Our favorite genre is fiction, with casts full of big-league actors who bring complex stories to life. Since fresh episodes are typically released weekly, think of them as TV for your ears. Your coworkers may already be obsessing over the taut Homecoming—produced by the blue-chip podcast network Gimlet Media—which unfolds through recordings of sessions between a therapist, played by Catherine Keener, and the soldiers she treats at a secretive government facility. Retro-minded listeners will nerd out over Bronzeville, set in Chicago's South Side during the 1940s; Laurence Fishburne and Tika Sumpter provide the vocal stylings. And spooky Limetown spins a supernatural tale about more than 300 folks who mysteriously vanished from a small town in Tennessee. You may find yourself getting lost, too.